The Living Document: Our Everchanging Menu.

The W. D. Deli Tuesday Soup Of The Day has changed. Some of you are already mourning the loss of the Tomato Chipotle Bisque. I mourn it with you. I loved that soup. But it looks like not enough of us did. We always had a bunch of that creamy spicy stuff left at the end of the day. So we all put on our thinking caps on and decided to change that Tuesday soup to Broccoli & Cheese. And just like my mom used to say to her four children, "I don't love one of you more than the other. I love you all the same. You're all different."

The deli menu has changed many times during the twenty-three years that W. D. Deli has been in existence. When the deli first opened the menu was smaller, but it included things that we don't have anymore. When the deli first opened we offered tongue.  There was a barbecued chicken salad on the menu. We only had one kind of iced tea. Our customers had their choice of only two, maybe three, different cookies. Over the years the menu has evolved, based on food trends and even more than food trends, based on what our customers told us and showed us they wanted on the menu.

These days our customers can choose from over twenty-five different sandwiches that are customize-able in a myriad of ways. There are nine or ten different bread choices. You can choose from three different mustards, nine different salad dressings, ten different kinds of cookies that are made in house every day. Our regular customers usually come in knowing exactly what they want. And some of us may know what you order more readily than we can recall your name.  But that's the way it is. Sometimes we know both.  For example, I know that when Paul Smith comes in, he wants a club sandwich with a bag of jalapeƱo chips.  Jim Stovall will most likely order a ruben with extra cheese, chips, and a coke. (I don't think we're breaking any deli owner - customer confidentiality agreement there. I hope not anyway.)

San Antonio CIA students lunching upstairs at W. D.

New customers have a slightly harder time trying to decide.  For that reason, we will offer to let you taste the spinach chicken salad, or the tomato basil soup, or anything else we've got that feasibly taste-able. That's also the reason we drill our staff on the ingredients that are in, for example, a cobb salad. We want to be able to help you choose exactly what you want. It's a little overwhelming at first, I'm sure.

Some of the more recent changes that we've made in our menu include the replacement of alfalfa sprouts with shredded carrots.  When there was a sprouts recall some time ago, our produce vendor decided not to carry sprouts at all. We knew that we wanted to replace that ingredient with something equally tasty and texturally interesting - so shredded carrots seemed like a good choice.  We brought back pastrami.  W. D. Deli offered pastrami when we first opened, but there seemed to be little demand for it.  But during the past year we noticed more and more people asking for pastrami, so a hot pastrami sandwich has been added to the menu.

What's next for our everchanging menu? On a recent trip we were in a restaurant that offered an interesting choice in sandwiches - collard greens as a wrap instead of having, say, bread, or a tortilla wrap.  Maybe we'll try that soon.


  1. Really interesting article, Michael. Like people, menus need to grow and evolve over time. You both are so in tune with your customers and the market. Would love to know how you make your BBQ Chicken salad!


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